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Show me the salary: Why youngsters are posting their salaries online


Youngsters are publicly disclosing their salary online, breaking a long-standing taboo. In the process, they are also upsetting employers who don’t really like to make it public. It all started with a TikToker called Hannah Williams, who asks one question to everyone she meets on the street: “How much do you make?”

Williams apparently started making the videos after realising she was being underpaid during her own career, the BBC reported. She then started talking about her professional development on TikTok, where she said that her followers appreciated her candour regarding the pay.

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Many companies believe that applicants who change jobs in order to earn a better salary are shortsighted even though job changes can occasionally be motivated by a desire to improve income. There are also debates about whether HR managers in India should ask a candidate to disclose their previous salary and offer a pay package complementing the same.

Germany prohibits employers from asking about a candidate’s prior paychecks. In certain US states, it is against the law for employers to inquire about applicants’ prior salary unless those salaries are freely disclosed. 

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The purpose of the change is to eliminate pay disparities based on gender and between employees doing the same job duties. On September 27, California became the most recent US state to make it mandatory for all businesses with more than 15 employees to advertise the salary ranges for available positions.

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Meanwhile, these are not the queries being raised only by Williams. Viral tweets, memes and TikTok accounts are being used by younger generations to advocate for pay transparency by publicly disclosing one’s income with others.

Is it legal to disclose salary in India?

In India, however, there is hardly any job offer that does not involve the HR manager not asking for the previous salary. As a result, employees get paid in accordance with their previous salary while a pay discrepancy across similar positions is highly frequent. Many large companies in India discourage employees from discussing salaries with one another. Companies’ non-disclosure policies prohibit such practices.

Will disclosing salary help?

According to LinkedIn Market Research, over 80% of Gen Z believe that income sharing will increase wage equality. With 75% of them agreeing, millennials are not far behind. That sentiment gets weaker with each older age; only 28% of Baby Boomers and 47% of Gen X agree.

Gender pay gap in India

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2022, India ranks at 135 out of 146 countries. Iceland has been the topper in the category for every year in the present decade. In 2021, India ranked 140 on the gender gap index.

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